Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stuff you learn from 8 year olds...

Yesterday I had an assembly and a class visit at the local Primary School. The assembly was very well presented by the P7 class and the the dual themes of the day were our role in protecting the environment and encouraging biodiversity.

The children were very much left to their own devices to come up with some presentations and I was surprised and discomfited by a frighteningly direct link between the ability of these primary school students present in the room to recycling their plastics and the earth not turning into a lifeless ball of dust. Planting bee-friendly plants and not swatting the little creatures will stave off the certainty of all life dying on the planet within weeks.

The message has gotten across.

I'm not sure that scaring the shit out of little children is ever noble. I'll leave it to pedagogues and future generations to determine whether it's even effective.

There must be some better way to encourage responsibile behaviour towards Creation.

One thing that came up during the discussion of 'invasive species' such as the Grey Squirrel was the fact that Hippos are an invasive species in South America. I sat there with my head cocked to one side like the RCA Victor dog. Hippos? South America?

Later in the day I googled 'hippos' and 'south america' and it appears that the kids were right - sort of.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Voice of the Turtle...

...and all that. Caireen is off at a retreat "on the continent" so Stewart and I are shifting for ourselves. We've just been to see Marley and Me which was not quite as bad as other animal movies I've seen recently. Now I've got to rustle up his supper and send him off to Boys' Brigade for 7:15. Meetings tomorrow in Glasgow and then Sunday takes care of itself.

The weather has been gorgeous here and I've taken the odd trip up on the estate to snap a few pix.

What bored Welshmen get up to

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Manchester Phoenix will be playing in Edinburgh on Saturday against the local team, the Edinburgh Capitals. The game, of course, is Hockey - or as they call it around here - Ice Hockey to differentiate it from Proper Hockey which is played on grass.

As you can see from the players lists in the Wiki entries - the Manchester team is mostly Canadian.

The Edinburgh team have more Scots on Skates.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

First nice Spring day in Penicuik
Is it Lent? Doesn't feel like Lent!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The Scottish Episcopal Church has manned/womanned a stall at the Wedding Fairs in Edinburgh and Glasgow for two years running now. And I gather that they've gone well in both places and that some folks have even managed to make them a hell of a lot of fun.

My question is this: will the Church of England manage to host a stall at the National Funeral Exhibition in Coventry this June. If not, why not?

We dare you. We double dare you. We double dare you with Haggis and a Harry Lauder accent.

If so, what will they include in their stall?
What's the first thing that visitors will see?
What will be on the book table?
What freebies will they give away?

The Edinburgh Zoo

I spent part of my day off yesterday playing with my new birthday lens at the Edinburgh Zoo. Most of the animals were still fending off the cool weather inside and the whole place seemed a little down-at-heels.

The Asiatic Lions were in good fettle and the Indian Rhinos were out in the paddock churning up a little mud and eating some tender looking branches which had been laid out for them by their keepers.

I was looking suitably grubby for my day off (blue jeans and ratty jumper) and bumped into a school group from one of the schools where I am the chaplain.

They seemed a little surprised not to see me kitted-out in the usual dark suit and clerical collar.

One of them said loudly to her teacher "I think maybe I know that man!"

There may well be clergy who live in enormous sprawling cities who can go for days without being tagged. It doesn't work here. Everybody is somebody else's third cousin. I was recently on a pleasant weekend in Bruges where I bumped into one of my ecclesiastical superiors on a streetcorner at nine in the morning. I was with my wife - he was with his.

All remains solidly classical in our corner of the Anglican Communion!

The picture (top) is of a Great Grey Owl. Lots of them in northern Canada although their range includes most of the north of Europe as well.